Yesterday, I read the scripture from 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” After reading it, I was reminded of a writing assignment my Sophomore English Professor, Shirley Harrod, gave to my class. At first, I thought her assignment was rather morbid. Nevertheless, I have completed 100s of writing assignments throughout my years and this one stands out above the rest.
She told the class to go to a cemetery and do a chalk rubbing of a tombstone. Then, she told us to creatively write about that person’s life. Who were they in life? What did they do? What made them life and cry? What were their hopes and dreams? Did they fulfill what they set out to accomplish?
That night, I went to the local cemetery, which ironically was in walking distance to my college dorm room. Within minutes, I came across a tombstone with the name, Elizabeth Ready. Immediately, I knew she was my writing subject. I chalk rubbed her name on my large piece of paper and headed back to my dorm room. On my walk back, I thought about her name, Ready. What a great name. In my writings, she would become a visionary, a woman of adventure, a dreamer who wasn’t afraid to take risks. Through celebrations and accomplishments or changes and difficulties, my Elizabeth Ready would be ready! She was ready to lead, ready to motivate, ready to risk, ready to laugh, and ready to cry. But, above all, she was ready to finish.
I am sure we are all familiar with the phrase, “It doesn’t matter how you start the race, but rather how you finish.” In my writings, Elizabeth Ready was concerned with how she finished the race. Even though I never met this person, in my story, she finished that which was placed before her and she finished well!
Tomorrow in KidMotion, I am talking about perseverance-finishing the race well. My normal habit is to meditate and “simmer” over the main points I want to make for several days before actually presenting them to my kids. So, I have thought a lot about finishing well the last few days.
When I am tempted to be sidetracked or distracted with challenges in my life, I must make time to get away with the Lord. In this time, He reminds me that my problems, my challenges, my concerns, are FLEETING! They will be over soon. However, my obedience to do His will is ETERNAL. So, there is nothing more important than doing what God has told me to do.
When I stand before Jesus, all the challenges, trials, tests, and distractions will be forgotten. But, what will remain is a question-Did you do what I asked you to do, or did you get distracted by “life” and stop running your race?
Like the Apostle Paul and my fictitious character, Elizabeth Ready, I want to finish the race with joy and with VICTORY!
Lord~help me to maintain my focus on the prize that is at the end of the race. Help me not to be distracted by the cares and challenges of this life, but rather keep my focus on you! One day, I will stand before you and I want to be READY to answer your question with boldness, confidence, and joy unspeakable.
My 28 Thanks:
1. I am a winner.
2. I am not a loser.
3. I don’t surrender when life presents challenges and difficulties.
4. I am determined.
5. The Holy Spirit reminded me of a really cool writing assignment from over 10 years ago.
6. Professors, like Shirley Harrod, who believed in me. I still have every paper I wrote for her classes. She always inspired me and wrote great things about my writing.
7. I was able to go to college and earn a degree.
8. I no longer owe any money for school. Paid it off a few months ago!
9. My parents celebrated their wedding anniversary today.
10. My flowers are still alive after being hit by this weird, windy, cold blast.
11. Judah and I had a very relaxing morning together.
12. I got a great deal on new tennis shoes for Judah.
13. He loved his new shoes and wore them out of the store.
14. I got a pair of shoes too.
15. They are cute and comfortable.
16. My in-laws were able to get a lot accomplished around their house today. Many items on their to-do list are now done.
17. Judah and I made a surprise visit to our friends garage sale.
18. We visited for over 2 hours.
19. Judah loved jumping on the trampoline with friends.
20. A friend sent me a great article about parenting stresses. It was from Proverbs 31 woman. It was really encouraging and a good read.
21. Judah took a 3 hour nap today.
22. I was able to memorize my teaching script for KidMotion tomorrow.
23. Lorry Gail is through lesson 4 of our summer series puppet sketches. She loves how the writing is going.
24. I was able to help a lady who is inquiring about our church. After our conversation, she is coming to church tomorrow.
25. Luci is home from the hospital and doing better.
26. My laundry is almost complete!
27. Judah obeyed me in the crowded store when I told him to stay right by me.
28. My sister, Haley, won several awards last night at her college communications department banquet and one award included a scholarship. Go Haley Bee…proud sis moment!